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SatFinderAndroid

An Android-based satellite dish resource

Copyright © 2014, Paul LutusMessage Page

Current Version: 1.5.0 (05.16.2014)

Introduction | Getting SatFinderAndroid | Background
Pay it Forward | Copyright, Source, Version History


Figure 1: SatFinderAndroid in operation (click image for fullsize)

Get SatFinderAndroid at the Android Market


"Find that Satellite!"

SatFinderAndroid download QR code

Direct download link

Introduction
Getting SatFinderAndroid
Background

As a programmer and as someone who aligns satellite dishes regularly, I find that SatFinderAndroid greatly simplifies a number of formerly inconvenient tasks. Traditionally, one consulted a table of satellite positions, got hold of a hand compass for azimuth and an inclinometer for elevation of a receiving dish, and finally went out to install or align a dish. But because the Android platform can find its own position as well as sense magnetic bearings and elevations, SatFinderAndroid does all these things in a single application. I think this is a perfect example where mobile computing makes a formerly complex technical task easy.

I have some experience writing satellite locator programs. SatFinderAndroid is just the latest (and by far the easest to use) in a series of programs I've written to manage satellite dish installation and alignment. The first was Satellite Finder, a Java desktop application which required the user to specify his geographic location using a ZIP code database, or by specifying a U.S. city and state, or by direct entry of geographic position. Not much fun. The next was an online version of Satellite Finder that worked in much the same way, but didn't require users to download anything.

All the prior versions had the drawback that they required users to either have a U.S. ZIP code, or select a U.S. city and state, or manually type in their location's latitude and longitude, assuming they knew it. Those location preliminaries constituted the majority of the code — actually computing satellite positions was comparatively easy. These requirements also prevented non-U.S. users from having an easy way to use the program, all of whom had to manually type in a geographical position.

For some use instructions, here is a link to the help page that comes istalled with SatFinderAndroid.

Pay it Forward

SatFinderAndroid is free, it doesn't show ads, it's not crippleware or shareware, and I don't want your money. I just thought I would make that clear up front.

Years ago, in connection with my software development activities, I came up with an idea I called CareWare. But as the years went by I became somewhat disenchanted with the original idea and I now find it somewhat overheated (even though it's my idea).

So lately, moved as I am by conflicting forces — on one hand wanting to change the world, but on the other not wanting to even appear disrespectful of other people's choices — I've decided to just say pay it forward if you want. But there's no obligation to do that.

Copyright, Source, Version History
 

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